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Updated: October 5, 2011 10:15 IST

No Bill, no vote, Anna tells Congress

Amruta Byatnal
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Social activist Anna Hazare during a
Social activist Anna Hazare during a "gram sabha" meeting at Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar. He announced that he would begin his tour of five election-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur between October 13 and 15. File photo

Appeals to people of five poll-bound States

Vote out the Congress if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of the Parliament, Anna Hazare said on Tuesday, in an appeal to the people of the five poll-bound States. With this ultimatum, Team Anna sought to make its anti-Congress stand clearer than ever. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Hazare and core committee member Arvind Kejriwal emphasised on making the Jan Lokpal Bill an electoral issue.

Mr. Hazare said that if by the winter session the Congress failed to deliver on the three promises of bringing the lower bureaucracy within the ambit of the Lokpal, including the citizens' charter, and providing a Lokayukta in each State, he would protest against the Congress.

In a move that signifies Team Anna's increasing involvement in electoral politics, the social activist said he would hold sabhas and tell people not to vote for the Congress. Mr. Hazare's immediate step would be to campaign against the Congress in Hisar, Haryana, where by-election to the Loksabha seat was scheduled for October 13. “I will tell the people that the Congress has deliberately not passed the Jan Lokpal Bill, so don't vote for them,” Mr. Hazare said.

He said the ‘civil society activists' had asked all the political parties to give written assurances that if elected, their candidate would support the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. “We have got letters from almost all the parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, except for the Congress. We will wait for two days for Congress president Sonia Gandhi's letter. Otherwise we will campaign against the Congress,” Mr. Hazare said. He also read out BJP president Nitin Gadkari's letter supporting the Bill.

Asked whether Hisar will be an acid test for Team Anna's influence on the voters, Mr. Kejriwal said: “We are not standing for the election. It is not our acid test in any way.”

Hunger strike

Chalking out the future course of action, Mr. Hazare said he would undertake a yatra in Uttar Pradesh, beginning with a hunger strike in Lucknow three days before the elections. “This will give a message to the people that the Congress has not been serious about rooting out corruption. They are not determined to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, which is our right. Don't vote for them,” Mr. Hazare said. Along with Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Hazare plans to tour Gujarat, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand, which are also facing elections next year.

Asked whether he would endorse any party or candidate in the coming State elections, Mr. Hazare said the people would know best. “I cannot tell people whom to vote. The local people will have to decide that on the basis of his character,” he said.

But having a “good character” would not be good enough for a Congress candidate if the Jan Lokpal Bill was not passed, Mr. Hazare said. “Even if a Congress candidate is clean, and non-corrupt, we will tell people not to vote for him, as the party has a whip on its parliamentarians, “Mr. Kejriwal said.

However, if the Jan Lokpal Bill was passed, then he would stress on clean candidates representing the Congress, he said.

Asked by The Hindu if the movement was becoming increasingly political, contradicting Mr. Hazare's earlier statement of being apolitical, Mr. Kejriwal said: “This is democracy. If the government does not do its duty, they will be voted out. We are not apolitical, but we are beyond electoral politics and party politics. After eight months of deliberations, the government is still cheating us.”

Mr. Hazare should not have directly asked to rule out congress in elections. What is gaurantee that other political parties will pass the bill if they come to power. If he want to do some good in Indian Politics he should have asked its people to make a forum where complete characater analysis of MP/MLA candidate is done and then ask people to vote for right person. By this he will not loose his credibity and a better & efficient government will be in place. A win win situation.

from:  Anita
Posted on: Dec 14, 2011 at 12:30 IST

Annaji, will you ask people to vote for a crook from other party even if there is a good candidate from congress? this is nothing but blackmail and is absurd. we had lots of hope from you and you are destroying that hope. When you have agreed with the Govt to wait for the outcome from Parliamentary commitee, it is not right on your part to blackmail any party in this fashion. In you eagerness, do not destroy democracy, lots of Gandhians sacrificed their life for it and earned us our freedom. Jai Hind.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 22:42 IST

Anna want to impose his whim on congress.He is really blackmailing to Congress.He is working under pressure of BJP or RSS.One side he is telling us he believed in democracy parliament other way he threatening to Congress pass my bill.He is behaving just like director on popularity of public.He don't understand reaction of public is always fickle.Public run behind the leader for her selfishness when her selfishness not fulfill by leader public crushed such leader under her lag.

from:  Ramesh Raghuvanshi
Posted on: Oct 8, 2011 at 21:27 IST

That's a good strategy. Politician need this type of shocks. If couple of congressmen looses election, they will get serious about lokpal. The funniest part is, if congress implements a strong lokpal or not they will loose the election. Most of the people will hate lokpal once implemented. Especially government employees.

from:  RK
Posted on: Oct 6, 2011 at 16:55 IST

The very purpose of Anti Corruption movement is defeated if we are biased in dealing with this menace.I am affraid the movement is heading towards politics.The time is ripe to think twice and then support Anna's movement.

from:  AAFarooqui
Posted on: Oct 6, 2011 at 10:50 IST

Why are most journalists toeing the Congress line on the Jan Lokpal bill? What is wrong in Anna asking people not to vote for the Congress in the coming State elections if it doesn't get the bill passed in the next session of parliament? Recent events have clearly shown that there is wide support for the bill in the country. The fourth estate should not let the people down.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 19:42 IST

I dont know why congress people are saying "ANNA is now political" based on his recent statements.This is not a new statement.He asked people not to vote for congress if it is not going pass lokpal bill in the ramlila grounds itself.He is not against to congress,he is against to govt. which doesnt have sincerity in passing lokpal unluckily the govt. is congress.I am very dissapointed with congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdary statement that ANNA is a mask of BJP.When asked about ADVANIS yathra he cleary ruled it out and mentioned it a yathra for vote bank.And how can you say ANNA is supporting BJP.Anna just wants a written support from congress before parliamentary session commences.He received it from other parties and UPa not yet given a written support.This is the reason why he made these statements and he is not political.

from:  Venkatesh
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 11:31 IST

It is a good policy taken by team Anna to make pressure on corrupt leaders . Certainly this step will change present political atmosphere of the country . The corrupt will think a while in his doings . Anaa Hajare has a Gandhi's spirit and today Gandhi is appealing to the people not to support the Congress because the Congress is only doing business in the name of Gandhi .

from:  Narendra Kumar
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 10:06 IST

Anna has now begun to speak like one of those politicians - agree to me, or i'll bring down your govt! Since when did arm twisting a govt into agreeing to someone's demands become legal?

from:  Rajat
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 09:48 IST

We all know that how this govt has cheated,maligned and used every govt resources to break the jan lokpal movement.If we do not put continous pressure and teach them lesson in elections then chances are quite high that they will again do the same.So team anna has taken correct stand.In a democracy we are entitled to vote out to those who do not listen us,otherwise what is the use of representative democratic system.It is sure that the new line adopted by team anna will be criticized by some section of intelligencia that they are becoming political.But as said by Mr Arvind Kejriwal that they are political but above the party politics is correct argument.Team anna must not stop till the Janlokpal bill get enacted.

Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 08:38 IST

Any kind of intervention to cleanse politics and governance is welcome. The time has come for a citizen-centric legislative and administrative process based on decentralisation. Team Anna should come openly in the electoral fray and provide an alternate against the present corrupt parties. But they should not claim to be 'non-political' while indulging in opinion-articulation against a particular candidate as they are doing in Hisar by-polls. Such gestures may result in questions on credibility and perhaps hidden objectives too.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 08:21 IST

It is not the ruling UPA alone who has not implemented the Lokpal but BJP and other parties as well in the past. In a scenario of this sort, would Anna care to tell the country to stay away from voting alltogether??? This is nothing but blackmail.

from:  Sudharshan
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 08:18 IST

The Cat is out of the bag... at sometime it has to come out anyway. Anti Corruption struggle was only a feint in the BJPs anti congress struggle. As their own leaders stand exposed of corruption and even greater crimes like murders and conspiracy, it took the help of supposedly apolitical leader like Anna Hazare. But to cash in on his popularity he has to come open. But since the beginning the direction of the movement was clear. But I am amazed nobody asked Anna his stand on the Gujarat Lokayukta issue where the blue eyed boy of Hindutva has been demanding he have the defacto right to appoint lokayukta?

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 07:57 IST

Politicians are not coming from heaven. They are the ones among us. When we choose non-corrupt politicians they will defintely bring a clean Govt. So who is the main culprit? It is the public in majority. It is a nation where a great leader Kamaraj was defeated in the election. It is a nation where only 15 people attended the funeral procession of the great Subramania Bharathi. It is a nation where a woman cannot walk in the street without fear after sunset. How many of us leave personal liking /disliking when we discuss about social issues. We are all having preset mind which doesn't allow any other opinion other than what we have already in our mind. Our prest mind is based on what? . Its all based on religion, region, caste and economic status. This is mindset what kills our society. The corruption survives.

from:  T.Subramanian
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 06:05 IST

An extra-constitutional centre of power seems to be in making. If it really emerges and acquires strength, it will spell doom for our fragile democracy. Further, this newly emerging entity lacks any socio-economic-political programme to tackle our problems and its orientation is anti-Congress and seems to be aiming at forming the second Janata Party government. In retrospect, the first JP government was a tragedy, but the second will prove to be a farce. All said and done, Anna Hazare cannot match Jayaprakash Narayan in any respect. In fact,he appears to have become a pawn in the hands of vested interests.
Gandhi toured the riot-affected areas of Bengal and Bihar in 1946-47, but his Anna has not cared even to go to his neighbouring state of Gujarat to express his solidarity with the victims of Hindu communalism. Nor does he have any grasp of the basic source of growing corruption, i.e., neo-liberal path.

from:  Girish Mishra
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 05:13 IST

I feel very sad for Anna Hazare's feeling that appointing LokPal will solve all corruption related ills in our country! It will create only another judicial body with heavy estt and attendant costs on the poor public taking as much time as the present set up;rather he shd try to find out what are the various types of corrupt practices resorted to by the various agencies including the govt deptts and companies and bring them out.His organisation then press for the distribution of the black money with rich class(MPs,Ministers,Govt officials and corporates) among the poor.

from:  C G Venkatesan.
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 03:24 IST

anna hazarae"s cry against thecongress is Negative vota catching.He should also tell voters to whom they should vote, instead of asking voteres not to vote congress.LET him also choose the sincere candidate. Because, no candidate or politicians is clean.He should also set up candidates of good,sincere tothe National development,which has become very rare in the present political scenerio.

from:  Vaidya
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 02:58 IST

It's Annaji's right to ask people not to vote for congress even if the candidate is having good character and it is people's right to vote for any candidate. Assuming that people vote for congress that too for a candidate not having good character what Annaji will do. Mr.Kejriwal admits that they are not apolitical and claims that they are beyond electoral politics and party politics. When you are asking people not to vote for ruling party why don't you tell people to which party or candidate they should vote or at least ask them to vote None Either you enter electoral politics or await till the Winter Session of Parliament and if an effective Lok Pal Bill is not passed you resume your agitation. Till such time you may take up the issue of Protection of RTI activists / whistle blowers , make suggestions for electoral reform, amendments to Mining Bill to prevent looting of Natural Resources of the Nation and Land Acquisition Bill to protect the rights of farmers. Prove your impartiality.

from:  N.Thirunavukkarasu
Posted on: Oct 5, 2011 at 02:53 IST
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